Ukraine War Day #24

Dear Readers:

I will start with a story that should be interesting to military hardware geeks and war-gamers. Military expert Yury Knutov, who curates the “Anti-Air Defense Museum” explains to reporter Andrei Rezchikov why the Russian military decided to use Iskander rocket complexes to take out Ukrainian Tochku-U rocket complexes. The Russians used Tochku-U themselves until 2020, then the Tochkas became obsolete and were replaced by the Iskanders. Since the Iskander is considered the “grandson” of the Tochka, what we see here, in the course of a horrific family feud, is the grandson killing the grandfather! Just as the Nordic hero Siegfried broke the spear of his grandpapa God Wotan, thus making all previous alliances and entanglements moot. All of Wotan’s crafty maneuverings and cunning 3-D chess games; now all moot.

The very name “Iskander”, by the way, has ancient roots. It is the Persian and Arabic variant of the Greek “Alexander” (popularized by Alexander the Great) which means “Defends (alex) man (ander).” Not unlike Siegfried, the Macedonian Alex was known for his rash propensity to just cut through any entanglements which got in his way. Like the Gordian Knot, for example. Therefore, this is a fitting name for a rocket which just makes a beeline for its target, and then destroys that target, without so much as a “by your leave…”

A typical example of an Iskander rocket.

Knutov: “The Iskanders are the latest generation of the Tochka-U, and these complexes are superior to their grandfather Tochka-U in many ways. This is why the Russians decided to use this system. A rocket released from this system does not travel in a ballistic trajectory as does the Tochka-U. Rather, while in flight it makes a direct beeline for its target and nails the target 100% every time.”

Just yesterday (Friday, March 18), Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov, in his “meet the press” briefing, communicated that the Russian military was able to successfully destroy some Tochka-U complexes of the Ukrainian Nationalists, who were busy shooting rockets at residential blocks in the town of Melitopol. These Tochkas were all destroyed, just at the press of two buttons, unleashing two Iskanders.

That’s what happens when older technology meets newer technology. Knutov: “Ukraine has practically no anti-air defense left any more, and receives all its info from the NATO countries.” Because the Tochkas are quick and mobile, it is a mystery how the Russian Iskanders knew where to strike. “Most likely, this information was obtained by the use of drones, or perhaps a human reconnaissance patrol.” However it was done, Knutov is confident that the Russians can continue to take out Ukrainian Tochka-U complexes, wherever they are to be found. “Before the start of this operation, the Ukrainians possessed around 90 complexes containing around 800 rockets. Therefore, Russia has the task of taking out all of these complexes and rockets.”

Meanwhile, Back In Kherson

Continuing with our Kherson story, by reporter Rafael Fakhrutdinov; where we left off, we saw that the Ukrainian government, even long before 2014, set out to de-Russify this Oblast. Roughly the proportion of ethnic Russian/ethnic Ukrainian was something like 20/80, in favor of the latter. Language-wise the Russian/Ukrainian balance was something like 25/75, but even the majority with Ukrainian (Surzhik) as their native tongue were mostly bilingual. The de-Russification campaign proceeded at a quick pace; by 2018 only 26 schools (out of 435) continued instruction mainly in Russian.

Alexei Zhuravko

The post-Maidan epoch also saw a rapid de-industrialization of the Oblast. (One historical reality of the Ukrainian experience is that de-Russification and de-Industrialization go hand in hand.) Not only industry, but also the financial sector saw a decline. A lot of trade was reduced to barter. The Oblast’s medical sector was also hard-hit by the so-called “reforms” of [American-appointed] Ulyana Suprun, [yalensis: she is Ukraine’s Chief Medical Witch Doctor]. All spheres suffered an outflow of trained human cadres. Most left the country for good, and the Oblast began to die. According to Alexei Zhuravko, who used to represent Kherson in the Rada, on behalf of the Party of the Regions, the American-sponsored “reforms” completely destroyed this region: “People emigrated to Poland, Russia, the U.S., Canada. This led to a demographic hole. This also impacted the cultural sphere: Culture practically ceased to exist in Kherson.”

“You also need to take into account,” adds Larisa Shesler, who heads an association of Ukrainian political emigres and political prisoners (СППУ), “that in this region, just as in the entire South of the Ukraine — Odessa, Nikolaevka, Kherson, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhie — the pro-Bandera mood took hold. The main reason this happened is because of the constant repressions, which crushed, in the harshest way possible, any oppositionist tendencies, any pro-Russian views. It is due to this, that we find ourselves in the current situation. And Kherson is not the exception here, it conforms with the general tendency. The Nikolaev Oblast was the place where the [Ukrainian] Crimean military units re-located, these were the ones who decided not to stay and work for Russia. Odessa was flooded with Western Ukrainians, and Kherson was flooded with Crimean Tatars and [Ukrainian] bureaucrats fleeing from Crimea.” Kherson became the HQ of the so-called Crimean “Medzhlis” of Crimean Tatars. [An asterisk * in the Russian piece denotes the standard editorial policy of marking organizations which are banned by the Russian government.]

Larisa Shesler

It was in Kherson that the main effort began, led by a coalition of Ukrainian Nationalists and Tatar extremists, to blockade Crimea. Zhuravko: “The Poroshenko-Turchinov clique tried very hard to make sure there were no ties [between Kherson] and Crimea. This policy especially was damaging for farmers and agriculture in general.”

And it was here in Kherson that, using money provided by Crimean oligarch Andrei Senchenko, the so-called “patriots of the Ukraine” built the dam which blocked the Severo-Krym Canal, and thus, for years to come, deprived the residents of Crimea of 90% of their fresh water supply.

yalensis: One can note, in this regard, that in the very first day or two of the current war, one of the first acts of the Russian military forces was to de-block this dam. It was obvious a strategic and urgent goal, possibly even one of the core reasons (of which there were many) that the Russian government took this difficult and risky decision to go to war. One may also opine that the importance of the Kherson Oblast, especially as the land-buffer for Crimea and Russia’s Black Sea fleet, cannot be overstated. And that therefore, regardless of whatever final treaty is signed to end the war, Russia will not again relinquish this region to the fickle Ukrainians. Well, that is just my opinion, we shall see how it goes.

[to be continued]

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19 Responses to Ukraine War Day #24

  1. colliemum says:

    Thank you for this latest update, dear yalensis. Isn’t it wonderful how all those western ‘humanitarian’ organisations now crying about the poor people in sieve who allegedly have no food and no water have elegantly overlooked that the Crimea was without water, thanks to these Ukrainian politicians.
    Meanwhile, here’s the first ‘evidence’ that there are white Helmets in Ukraine … resting a kitten:


  2. John Thurloe says:

    It is certainly an irony of history that the means by which the myriad of tentacles twisted into Russia by which the west has sought to subdue it are being undone by the impulsive panic of their very perpetrators. Meaning, the various Russian authorities did and have not so acted to protect their own state because they are incomptetant, corrupt and/or stupid.

    So, now one observes Russian parties strutting about – ex post facto – going on about “yeah, and take all that western crap with you!” as if they were tough guys instead of being the ass-kissing opportunists they have actually been all along. Read todays statement by Rogozin about the US blocking Russia from use of their GPS system. “Duh, well we were going to kick you off our better system soon anyway”. Rolling of eyes.

    Well, the result in any case is acceptable. Which is that the many 5th column threads are being severed, their partisans discredited and better, independent replacements and personnel will occupy and solidify in those fresh vacuums.


    • yalensis says:

      I always thought Rogozin was a bit of a tool, but, you know, people can change.

      I do worry about that GPS thing, though. GPS is kind of important in the modern world, does Russia actually have its own system? I hope so. I ask, because I don’t know the answer.


      • FatMax says:

        Yes, it does. It’s called “GLONASS”.
        Russia will do just fine without GPS.


        • colliemum says:

          There’s also that other thing, called ‘maps’. A bit old-fashioned and anti-feminist because wimmin can’t read them, allegedly.


          • yalensis says:

            True. My mum used to try to read it upside down!


            • colliemum says:

              She should’ve had the ‘training’ provided by my late husband! I became a proficient map reader, even unto telling him about buildings and churches and other local spots of interest indicated on the Ordnance survey maps. I had to learn – the alternative was him having the map spread on the steering wheel and map reading while driving … that gave me conniptions, especially as there were the two then resident collies on the backseat to think about … so learning was less stressful.
              ‘Tis a very useful skill and, I’m sure, another one of those things preventing brain deterioration.


              • yalensis says:

                I am glad you learned to read maps so well, it just wouldn’t do to have hubby spread it out on the steering wheel while driving; probably also a coffee in his other hand, LOL!

                My dad was like that too. He would be steering with one hand, cup of coffee in the other, on the highway, frequently turning around to try to yell and smack us kids goofing off and fighting in the back seat; while we would scramble around trying to avoid his smacking hand; all the while my mum with her hands over her eyes, waiting in fear and horror to die…
                Those were good times!


              • colliemum says:

                Yeah – dads at the steering wheel could be fearsome! Mine forbade us outright to read anything while we were travelling in the car.
                The top spot though belongs to one of my zoology lecturers, on a field trip in Spain. He drove the minibus with 15 of us students, binoculars round his neck, and when someone in the back shouted out that there was this or that rare bird, he had the binoculars at his eyes, looking out the side window, even looking backwards, while driving forward .. on rough country lanes. I elected not to go on any more ‘bird-spotting’ drives with him, preferring to be stuck in the hot sand dunes looking at snails and lizards.
                Happy days …!


  3. Stephen T Johnson says:

    I think it’s highly likely that Ukraine 2.0 is more or less landlocked, with no littoral on the Azov or Black sea. Whether that’s federalization and/or expanded Novorossiya and/or expanded Crimea, we’ll have to see.
    I’m very relieved that Mariupol evacuation is now proceeding apace, but I’m sure the butcher’s bill on civilian casualties is going to be appalling It seems like some of the less committed Nazis tried fleeing, and got themselves errmm..I think the commentary was “liquidated” – man, shades of the NKVD or what? Still, it couldn’t happen to nicer guys


    • yalensis says:

      1.) I am no prophet, but I am almost 99.99% certain that the New Ukraine will have no coastline on any sea. Ukrainians will still need a coast guard, but only to peacefully patrol their rivers.
      2.) On the Mariupol evacuation: After the Nazis were finally forced to allow thousands of civilians to escape, the sh*t really hit the fan, in terms of the propaganda war. Because those tens of thousands of refugees who elected to flee to DPR/Russia are telling their horrific stories about what they endured; and the egregious crimes committed by Azov. Like shooting women/children in the back who tried to escape. Horrible stuff. These people will be suffering from PTSD the rest of their lives.

      But the true perps are the ones much higher in the food chain: People like Zelensky and his side-kick Arestovich are responsible for this carnage.

      Please be patient and wait till my post tomorrow, I promise it’s going to be a doozy. It’s based on a video blog posted by Arestovich himself. The man practically admits his crimes, and yet blames them on ordinary Ukrainians and rank and file soldiers. And also admits that the situation is hopeless, yet calls on Ukrainians civilians to continue to suffer and die. (From his own safe bunker probably in Poland.) While pretending to be a therapist and lecturing them about “psychological projection”. It’s really something to see. The Russian blogosphere went crazy over this. I will do my best to bring this juicy story to my readers, most of whom probably never heard of Arestovich.


  4. Ben says:

    Frankly baffling that they weren’t taking out Tochka sites from the start. What would be the point in preserving them? They’re heavy equipment; destroying them would have fit with the demilitarization goals.


    • yalensis says:

      I’m guessing the Russians don’t know where all the Tochkas are. And how would they know? The Ukrainians are not going to paint a big fluorescent arrow on them that could be seen from the air.
      The author of the linked piece underscores the fact that these complexes (whether Tochka or Iskander) are highly mobile devices and created specifically to be able to move quickly and hide from view. I imagine the Ukrainian rocket soldiers would have camouflaged them and moved them around very quickly, to avoid detection and retaliation, especially after shooting one off.


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